Talibanization of the heart

A thought provoking article by Abbas Zaidi

By  Abbas Zaidi


In the backdrop of the public lynching and then hanging of brothers Hafiz Mueez Butt and Muneeb Butt in Sialkot on 15 August, a journalist writing in an English language daily asked the following questions about the murderers: (i) Are they human? (ii) Are they Muslim?, and (iii) Are they really Pakistani? (The writers thought they were none.)

 These questions are evidence of the lowest depth of misery, hollowness, and dishonesty to which some of Pakistani journalists have taken their profession to. Of course, these murderers are human, Muslim, and Pakistani. The hollowness of the word “really” reminds me of Kurtz’s outburst of “The horror, the horror!” in the Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. Why is so much hype about this lynching in both the media and the judiciary? Is it something came out of the outer space, so we cannot accept it? Don’t we human-Muslim-Pakistanis lynch and destroy unarmed people, even animals, while the entire nation and national institutions react from blatantly cheering on to finding crooked justification for our sins and crimes because “Muslims cannot do it!”, a mantra on the lips of everyone from Zardari, the secular and Gillani, the reconciliator to Nawaz, the Amirul Mominin to Shahbaz, the Servant-in-Chief? Think about the journalists, the Islamists, the retired and quasi-retired bureaucrats and generals, and the list will go on ad infinitum.

 To the above three questions, add a highly arrogant claim which we the human-Muslim-Pakistanis make without fail while raising an objectionable eyebrow at non-Muslims: “We the Muslims never disrespect a corpse!”

 The Sialkot lynching is a mirror image of another lynching which we have conveniently forgotten. This takes us to 1994 when the Taliban, made and molded in and by Pakistan, invaded the UN-protected enclave in Kabul where they lynched Dr Najibullah and his brother. After lynching them publicly, just like their brethren have done in Sialkot, the Taliban hung the corpses of the two brothers and mutilated them; they even chopped off their private parts. At that time hundreds of people cheered on the Taliban as they disrespected the two corpses just like the hundreds of people did in Sialkot; the only difference being that there were no mobiles phones available at that time. Again, it is our “Pakistani” Taliban who Pakistan Army thinks are “good Taliban” who last year dug up a pir from his grave and hanged, and not just hung, him. You can go a few more years earlier in 1984 when General Zia sent his notorious lashkar led and supervised by no other than Brigadier Musharraf aka General Musharraf, the enlightened, the moderate. This proto-Talibanic lashkar not just burnt alive hundreds of the Shias of Gilgit, it burnt alive the animals too owned by the Shias. Of course, this can be justified because those animals were not human, Muslim, or Pakistani.

 The Sialkot lynching is not spontaneous. It is in fact a great tribute paid to General Zia who created the Islamofascist mindset with the help of Arabian money and Pakistani-sectarian manpower. The Zia-sponsored and Islamists-created curriculum taught in Pakistan to this day has created a vision in which Muslims of a certain denomination are the only superior people in the world whose divine mission is to put the entire world on the righteous path by speech or sword depending on how quiescent or stubborn the people target for conversion are. Because Muslims can do no wrong, whatever Muslims do is right. General Zia and his accomplices created an Islam, which was unheard of in Pakistan, and since then that Islam has been creating us the human-Muslim-Pakistanis.

 Thus, the very fundamental motivating principle of human-Muslim-Pakistanis is that law has no meaning if it hinders our desires. We also know that the state of Pakistan has morphed into impotence, and accountability and rule of law are nonexistent.  From 1977 when General Zia dismissed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto up to the Sialkot lynching, very few serious crimes have been punished. Crime has become an easy choice because people know that (i) they will never get justice, and (ii) crime is not punished. Unless you are hopeless poor and unconnected, you are above law. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto is hanged and Benazir assassinated, and their murderers live honorably; lawyers assault journalists, judges, and policemen, but the judiciary takes no action; policemen kill innocent people and drag their dead bodies in the streets like trophies and are decorated with medals of bravery; journalists can demonize people at will and not be held responsible; murderous fatwas are proclaimed publicly and the bloodthirsty mullahs are addressed as ulema; billions are loaned from the banks and never returned and no questions asked. What message do people get?

 In January this year, Prime Minister Gillani said on the floor of the parliament that despite the Supreme Court and the parliament, the Army cannot be held accountable for anything. Aren’t we repeatedly told and taught by the media, mullahs, and textbooks that we the human-Muslim-Pakistanis are soldiers of Islam? Haven’t a few top channels been running a vociferous campaign whose theme is “Hum Sab Sipahi!”: We are all soldiers!




Filed under Pakistan

84 responses to “Talibanization of the heart

  1. poke

    any country or a group of people who celebrate Md ghauris and ghaznavis as heroes deserve this

  2. @poke

    A thought-provoking statement.

    Does then any country or group of people which does not and who do not celebrate Md. Ghauri and Mahmud of Ghazni deserve this?

  3. Alakshyendra

    mr. vajra, it seems you’ve gone bonkers. did you even read what you wrote? or did you mistake “any” for “no”?

  4. @Alakshyendra

    Actually, going by the reactions of those around me, I have suspected that I am bonkers for quite some time now.

    That has nothing to do with the question I asked. Would you like to try and answer it? As it is?

    There is method in my madness.

  5. navanavonmilita

    Good Morning,

    I mean it.

    This article made me sick to my stomach and my heart.

    Have a nice day.


    …and I am Sid Harth

  6. @Alakshyendra

    If you wish to leave it to Poke to respond, that’s fine, but otherwise, I have to absent myself for some time, till around 9’o’clock IST (it is now 3:20 almost). Perhaps by then we will have something on the table.

  7. Pingback: Good Morning: Sid Harth « News, Views and Reviews: Sid Harth

  8. Majumdar

    Public lynching is fairly commonplace in dysfunctional, developing countries, irrespective of race, faith, country etc. There have been number of well doucmented events in India as well- Bhagalpur blindings, Khairanji killings, regular branding of women as witches etc. Dont know what Islam or Taliban or Gen Zia (odious as Taliban and Gen Zia may be) have to do with the Sialkot incidents.


  9. Nusrat Pasha

    Dear Abbas Zaidi,

    A brilliant article indeed. When we, as a nation, stand before the mirror today, the reflection we are condemned to behold, is the result of our ruthlessly dragging Islam into our mundane, or shall we say profane politics. By smearing earthly refuse on its celestial countenance and by mixing contaminated politics with its pristine message, Islam has been dishonoured.

    With respect to your following words, may I humbly contribute:

    “…..the entire nation and national institutions react from blatantly cheering on to finding crooked justification for our sins and crimes because “Muslims cannot do it!”, a mantra on the lips of everyone…..”

    Muslims cannot do it? At the occasion of the battle of Uhud, three hundred Muslims turned their backs on the Holy Prophet, leaving the Prophet’s already outnumbered contingent further diminished. The historian knows full well that these absconders were not Jews, Christians or Hindus. They were Muslims – kalima reciting Muslims. The people who martyred Usman and Ali were not Jews, Christian or Hindus. They were Muslims – kalima reciting Muslims. The people who beheaded the Prophet’s beloved grandson Hussain and persecuted the Prophet’s family members at Karbala, were not Jews, Christians or Hindus. They were Muslims – kalima reciting Muslims. I know these are all inconvenient facts of history but they are still facts.

    “…..General Zia and his accomplices created an Islam, which was unheard of in Pakistan, and since then that Islam has been creating us the human-Muslim-Pakistanis…..”

    The Quran declares “Laa ikraaha fid deen”, meaning ‘there is no coercion in matters of religion’ (Quran 2 : 256) . This is an absolutely fundamental principle of “Islam”. Zia’s Islam, on the other hand was based on the doctrine of coercion. Therefore his Islam was not only unheard of in Pakistan, it was unheard of in the heavens, it was alien to God Himself and it was unknown to Muhammad the Messenger of God.


  10. Orient1453

    Majumdar has succinctly summed up all that is wrong with this post. The public lynching of anyone is to be decried. But it is, as Majumdar points out, commonplace in dysfunctional societies in which institutions have broken down (or have never existed).

    The author of the post is right in highlighting a culture of denial that is poisoning Pakistan. Too often the response is “but they cannot be Muslim” – a response that merely obfuscates the underlying problems. Equally unhelpful though is the practice of placing all that goes wrong in Pakistan at the door of Zia/Taliban/Mullah. The “Taliban conspiracy” is now second only to the “Zionist-Raw conspiracy” as the explanation of choice for Pakistanis when confronted by acts of barbarity. Both are convenient in absolving us of our collective failings, be they the failings of the state, government, army, civil society, voluntary sector, etc.

    The gross violation of human rights has been occurring in Pakistan since before the time of Zia – just ask the people of Baluchistan or those in Sindh who have been living and dying as bonded labour for decades. These things are the direct consequences of failures running across depth and breadth of our society. The Taliban are just one, and perhaps the most destructive and detestable, of these failures.

  11. Raju Brother

    There was a time, when suicide bombings were unheard of in Pakistan, till they became commonplace. The people got used to them.

    Similarly lynching in public places was often done by the Pakistan-trained Taliban in Afghanistan. Now it is also happening in Pakistan.

    Violation of the Dead is also an occurrence which is being reported from Pakistan.

    There also have been bombings of the mausoleums of Muslim saints.

    What all of these have in common, is the sheer brutality and dehumanization involved; it is the shocking value, that helps cower the people.

    When the Taliban dig up a grave, and then hang the rotting body or the skeleton from a tree or a pole or put it up for display in a public place, then the Taliban are making a clear statement – Don’t think you will be at peace when dead.

    Every such act, that is committed and receives a wide publicity only strengthens the Taliban. Taliban are not here to establish Kingdom of Heaven by virtue of their piety, but rather on fear. Probably the one who put up the video was also acting at the behest of the perpetrators.

    The Taliban will be making use of these instruments of shock a lot more often.

  12. The respect for the rule of law starts from the top – as is done in any respectful society across the word. We have examples of Hazrat Omar who was questioned publically for his attire.
    Unfortunately, there is no justice in Pakistan. When the Supreme Court gives a judgement, no one cares about it. If someone is murdered, the rich accused get away. What happened in Sialkot is shameful – but why people did it? They have no faith in justice being provided to ordinary people. Chopping of the hand of a thief would not stop thefts – first we have to ensure that everyone gets a respectful living and then if someone steals, he should be given a capital punishment.
    When everyone is looting and plundering at the top, the flood is diverted to the lands of poor or opponents to save the lands of the big ones, then what do we expect?
    Having said this, I would very much want all culprits to be brought to book – even the onlookers (all of them) should be charged for aiding the gruesome murder of the two youngmen. Even if they were criminals, the Police should have taken charge of the crime scene rather than standing and watching the most disgusting crime of our times.

  13. Raju Brother


    I saw the video! No Taliban in sight. Just ordinary Sialkotians!

  14. shiv

    How are the media in Pakistan portraying this? What do the Urdu and Punjabi media say?

    Summary mob justice has occurred in India as well from time to time – and has occasionally been enchantingly innovative – tying the (living) suspect behind a police motorcycle and dragging him. But overall – there is public and media outrage and some sort of constitutional justice gets muddled through.

    This particular act of brutality does not seem unusual – even for Pakistan. What is unusual is the publicity it got via multiple video recordings. One reads about summary justice and brutality on a reasonably regular basis in the print media – particularly in relation to honour killings and rape.

    What I believe is important is public and media outrage and a very public and consistent bringing to book of offenders. What has transpired so far in Pakistan after criminal acts does not inspire confidence. Apart from Hafiz Saeed who walks free, the contemptuously brazen and callous act of “hosing down” the scene of the crime after Benazir Bhutto was assassinated suggests the presence criminals in very high places who do not really give a damn about the rule of law or public sentiment. The investigation could never have moved forward after that massacre of forensic evidence. Calling the Scotland Yard later was a cynical joke and the stupid buffoons actually came – the blithering nincompoop bilayatis.

    Pakistan has a very large number of plain vanilla criminals of both the domestic and international variety living happy and healthy lives in high places. A double standard of “Your criminal is my hero” can pan out in many different ways depending on the identity of “you” and “me”. It was always fine inside Pakistan when the crime was across the border. But on the Pakistan side of the border, the surprise is that an act of brutality is actually being recognised as one. Fancy that! Wonders will never cease.

  15. Octavian

    I agree with many of the above. What happened in Sialkot is the symptomatic of a fundamentally sick society. To limit the blame on Islamic-fascist tendencies and leave it at that, is, I fear, an incomplete assessment.

  16. Hayyer

    Thank you Majumdar for telling it like it is. There are many other suchlike killings unconnected to Ghori, Ghaznavi et al.

  17. Hola

    From the comments in the above article,
    other instances of street vigilantism in Pakistan:

    Burning of bandits in Saddar Karachi

    Burning of Bandits in Korangi, Karachi

    Beating-till-death of bandits in Metroville area, Karachi. The bandits were also tied to a jeep and dragged on streets

    Murder of a Hindu worker in a factory by a mob of “Muslim” co-workers on alleged “Tauheen-a-Risalat” remarks

    Murder of two Christian brothers in Sialkot by a mob. They were accused of using defamatory remarks for the holy prophet

    Murder/lynching of the young Butt brothers in Sialkot by a mob

    All ‘street justice’ performed by the Taliban terrorists in Swat/Malakand (including whipping, slaughtering, hanging and chopping off body parts
    All incidents of Karo-Kari where unqualified ‘jurists’ ask for murder of people, some after gang rape 😦

    Throwing of Kainat Soomro in front of dogs in Karachi by an honor bitten mob comprising of her family members

  18. Gorki

    “Public lynching is fairly commonplace in dysfunctional, developing countries, irrespective of race, faith, country etc…..

    Dont know what Islam or Taliban or Gen Zia (odious as Taliban and Gen Zia may be) have to do with the Sialkot incidents….”

    I am seriously surprised you asked.
    The entities listed in the second statement ensure that the country and society remains static and dysfunctional; resistant to any change, because of their influence.

    I thought the author was implying that.


  19. Hayyer

    Add to the list those poor Dalits in Haryana, skinning a dead cow, as was their profession, set upon by a mob returning from Ramlila, and torn to bits.

    The courts awarded the mob killers 7 years each; and guess what? The town shut down in protest.

  20. Tilsim

    Is this not just another case of pure vigilantism and failure of the police?

    Is there any evidence that the people were thinking that this was some form of Islamic justice meeted out? If it is, let’s put it out there as it would be powerful just like the whipping of the girl in Swat by the the Swat taliban was.

    On the face of it, it seems that the author is taking the horrific incident and giving it a wider meaning by saying that this has something to do with muslims attitudes towards themselves and others. I am not convinced that this particular incident points to that.

    I agree with Majumdar and Hayyer on this one.

  21. Salman

    Dear Author,

    When you write an article, do not deceive the people with stories. I find that the whole article is based on whims, and stories, biased to make a point.

    The army “do not” consider the TTP (Pakistan taliban) as good. I am not sure where you are getting such ideas from. The army has been wiping out these bandits (indian agents) from the face of this earth and they have nothing to do with “Talibans”.

    During Zia time, it is totally wrong the way you described the event in Gilgit. Absolute lies. Yes, the Agha khanis were killing the locals, as they had been provided even the helicopters to control that region, through private funding, in addition to the weapons. The trouble started when they crossed the limits and murdered, in cold blood, the imam of the mosque. That was the tipping point when people (normal humans) attacked that area from all sides, to put this terrorism to an end, and since then we have seen a much better Gilgit.

    I can go on and on, but try to be honest in your writings, or else, they become garbage, and you will be termed as insincere in stating facts.

  22. Kaalket

    Lets hope those departed souls find peace in afterlife.

  23. Aks


    Lets assume what you said is true. Even so, the courts did their job, did they not, and its easy for a bunch of power wielding thugs to shut a town down. But the law & order system sentenced the criminals.

    Where in Pakistan does your law & order system appear to be even remotely functional, with multiple centers of power and the wink-nod-nudge to any and every thug, as long as he is in line with “strategic interests”?

    When your country, can harbor and succor somebody like Hafiz Saeed, Dawood Ibrahim, assorted LeT and HuM thugs, the Haqqanis, all with the knowledge and willing cooperation of the ISI, Army, then tell me, what lesson does your common man take?

    I as a non Pakistani am afraid of breaking the law, because the law will kick my butt. I am afraid, in Pakistan, the feeling seems to be, as long as I am a well connected Butt or Chaudhry or Khan, one can get away with anything. And obviously, the lower economic strata will also learn the same lesson.

    In Pakistan, one of your Chief Justices, last I read, was busy coming up with excuses for jihadis. The problem is Pakistan, and by extension many Pakistanis have a glorified view of Islam akin to, every man a conqueror, able to do what he pleases. That attitude really is not conducive to making a civilized society. Perhaps, that Ahmediyya religious leader, who was interested in removing jihad from the Islamic mindset, had the right idea all along.

  24. Hola

    Hayyer no need to get defensive, the list was not made by me. I only posted it here as it seemed appropriate to topic under consideration. As already explained by Aks, there are similar atrocities committed in India, and the Criminal Justice System is often seen as slow and inefficient, but the perpetrators usually do not get off scot free.

    OTOH one sees in Pakistan, that a head of State makes a statement that “Women get themselves raped in order to get Canadian Visas” in Ms. Mukhtaran Mai’s case and in Ms. Kainat Soomro’s case the rapists were released by court because of “lack of evidence”.

    Really unfortunate.

  25. AA khalid

    @ AKS

    The law and order system in Pakistan is terrible no doubt, but India is not a shining beacon of justice either, read this:

    ”Legal System in the Dock” (IPS)

    ”NEW DELHI, May 31, 2007 (IPS) – The reputation of India’s judiciary, considered overbearing and democratically unaccountable by many, has taken a knock with the publication of a report by Transparency International (TI) called the “Global Corruption Report 2007”.

    The report, based on a 2005 countrywide survey of “public perceptions and experiences of corruption in the lower judiciary,” conducted by the Centre for Media Studies, finds that a very high 77 percent of respondents believe the Indian judiciary is corrupt.

    It says that ‘’bribes seem to be solicited as the price of getting things done”. The estimated amount paid in bribes in a 12-month period it found was around 580 million dollars. ‘’Money was paid to the officials in the following proportions: 61 percent to lawyers; 29 percent to court officials; 5 percent to middlemen.”

    “This is a wake-up call not just for India’s legal system, but for society and the state itself”, says Upendra Baxi, a highly regarded Indian jurist, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University, and professor at the University of Warwick in Britain. “It confirms what we have known for years and casts a shadow on the integrity of the judiciary. It also calls for urgent, drastic remedial measures.”

    “The report only covers the lower or subordinate judiciary and excludes the judges of the High Courts (of Indian states) and the (national) Supreme Court. There are credible reports that corruption has permeated the higher judiciary too,” Baxi told IPS.

    In January 2002, S.P. Bharucha, then India’s chief justice, said that 20 percent of the higher judiciary might be corrupt. In recent years, several upper court judges have been accused of “irregularities”, for instance, in the preferential allotment of valuable land by state governments, and other favours.

    The report of the Berlin-based TI should greatly embarrass India’s judiciary, which always takes a sanctimonious stand on corruption. This past March, two judges of the Supreme Court said: “Everywhere, we have corruption. Everybody wants to loot this country. The only solution for this menace is to hang some people (like you) on the lamppost so that it acts as a deterrentà.”

    However, no case of judicial corruption has ever been put on trial in India. Under the Indian system, it is virtually impossible to charge or impeach a judge.

    “In India, impeachment is not feasible because it requires a huge (two-thirds) majority in Parliament,” argues Colin Gonsalves, a public interest lawyer with the Human Rights Law Network told IPS. “India’s parliamentary elections have produced hung verdicts for years. And it is virtually impossible to muster the numbers necessary for impeaching a judge. In 1993, V. Ramaswamy, a Supreme Court judge, was found culpable by a court committee. But he was politically well-connected and could not be impeached.”

    This “freedom” from prosecution and impeachment further compounds the credibility crisis of the judiciary, in particular, the higher judiciary, which in India is a self-appointing entity not answerable to the legislature or executive.

    The higher courts of India, shielded from public scrutiny, have increasingly turned conservative. They have recently handed down judgments which abridge or abolish labour rights, dilute environmental regulations, promote Big Business interests, and uncritically support globalisation and privatisation.

    Judicial corruption in India is attributable to a number of factors, including “delays in the disposal of cases, shortage of judges and complex procedures, all of which are exacerbated by a preponderance of new laws”, according to TI.

    Says the TI report: “As of February 2006, 33,635 cases were pending in the Supreme Court; … 3,341,040 cases in the High Courts; à and 25, ,458 cases in the 13,204 subordinate courts. This vast backlog leads to long adjournments and prompts people to pay to speed up the process. In 1999, it was estimated: ‘At the current rate of disposal it would take another 350 years for disposal of the pending cases even if no other cases were added’.”

    Another factor is the low ratio of judges per one million population. This is as low as 12 to 13 in India, compared to 107 in the U.S., 75 in Canada and 51 in Britain. This high workload encourages delays and adjournments on frivolous grounds. “The judicial system, including judges and lawyers, has developed a vested interest in delays as well as corruption; it promotes a collusive relationship between the different players”, says Baxi. “This works against the public interest and the citizen’s rights. But even more important is the assault on rights that has occurred under the globalising neoliberal turn made by India’s higher judiciary since the early 1990s.”

    Baxi terms this the “Structural Adjustment of Judicial Activism”, after the now-discredited “Washington Consensus” package of “free-market” policies promoted by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

    He argues that the Supreme Court and many High Courts have redefined their roles: from defenders of human rights and Constitutional freedoms, and guardians of the public interest, to conscious promoters of neo-liberal globalisation, with unrestricted freedom for capital and shrunken rights for the ordinary public.

    “The tragedy in India”, adds Gonsalves, “is that it’s hard to put checks on the judiciary even as it runs amok by appropriating executive powers and interfering with legislative procedures even though the Constitution explicitly bars the procedures’ judicial scrutiny.”

    In recent years, the Indian courts have practised “micro-management” of functions which properly belong to the executive, including specifying which fuel should be used in public buses, how cities should be planned and run, whether or not certain books should be censored, and whether street food should be sold.

    The executive and legislature resent and chafe at this. Indeed, a first-rate conflict is brewing between these arms of the state, and the courts. There is a move to demand judicial accountability through a National Judicial Council Bill, which would allow serious investigation of corruption and other misconduct on the part of judges.

    However, the Bill remains mired in conflict. The judiciary wants the Council to be manned entirely by judges, to the exclusion of members of the government, and equally important, of civil society. The executive does not.

    “There are no easy solutions to the problem of making judges accountable,” argues Baxi. “But some interim partial measures can be tried. One is to appoint judicial ombudsmen from two highly-regarded statutory bodies, the Election Commission and Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India. Nothing prevents the CAG from initiating an independent review of the performance of the judiciary. The CAG could produce highly credible and objective reports and help kickstart a process of promoting transparency and accountability.”

    It is unclear if India’s executive and Parliament are willing to initiate such an exercise. But observers say that unless corrective steps are taken, the judiciary will continue to defy democratic accountability and intrude into areas outside its domain, even while corruption and denial of justice remain the order of the day. (END) ”

    Also the Asian Human Rights Commission released a statement:

    ”INDIA: Lack of accountability has corrupted the judiciary”.

    You might want to read that aswell.

    Human Rights Watch (HRW) also say:

    ” fundamental, structural problems remain including, most glaringly, widespread impunity for human rights violations. The government routinely fails to hold security forces accountable for abuses. ”

    I can easily produce the same for the Pakistani judicial system. The point I am making here is that if any Indians can think they can indulge in some point scoring they are very sadly mistaken.

    By reading credible reports and publications by international and regional human rights organizations and bodies we can retain some sort of realism when discussing these important issues rather than construct distorted realities.

  26. AA khalid

    Let’s see how long before some Indian troll comes along and starts complaining about why I am quoting reports and publications from Human Rights Watch, or any other organization which has apparently has ”vested interests”, and is ”Western”…(all part of some global conspiracy no doubt to put down ”Shining India” lol…)

    This xenophobic victim mentality has to stop so that we can confront and realise the enormity of the problems we each face in our respective countries.

  27. @Aks

    The point that Hayyer was trying to make is that this is not a situation where any country in South Asia, for that matter, any country where institutions are frail, can point a finger at others. The situation in Pakistan is particularly bad, they need to fix it, but they are not alone in having to do this. We all need to do out bits in our respective countries, and while we are doing it, sitting and acting superior about others is a cheap thing to do.

    Leave them to solve their problems, refrain from comments which don’t add to the solution but just gratify your wish to score points, and fix our own problems. Depending on which part of our country you are from, I can give you approximately a dozen issues where your services in bringing about the kind of change that you seem to want for the Pakistanis.

    Just to set you right before you come out with it, as it is the kind of half-thought through defence that is likely from thoughtless jingos, this is not a case of the ‘tu quoque’; it is not a case of the Pakistanis saying, “Don’t worry about us, you have enough problems of your own, go fix them.”


    On the contrary, it is a common problem, it is not peculiar to the religion or the cultural practices of one country on the sub-continent, and it is a case where the people who face the problem are discussing its implications, the light it casts on the hypocrisy of those among them who have been preaching the superiority of a particular creed, and the probable path forward. It is their internal discussion. Who asked you, or Hola, or Alakshyendra to butt in? What is your role and what is your intention in all this? The religious and cultural slur was shown to be rubbish by Majumdar; so what remains? All the objections to the three unwanted intrusions were by Indians, so stop acting smart and butt out.

  28. Hola


    Okay Havaldar Sahib.

  29. Bade Miyan

    While public lynching and other such public brutalities periodically surface in the whole of subcontinent, by and large, the law is against it. In some countries of Middle East, it is, however, made a public spectacle, which brutalizes the whole society. In this respect, I always had one issue. I hope it is taken in the right spirit. I have always been recoiled by the practice of zibah and little kids watching it. Doesn’t it affect their psychology? I have seen it being done on a large animal(goat) only once in my whole life, and I had passed out then. Shouldn’t things like that be shielded from children?

  30. @ A. A. Khalid

    I request you never to refute an Indian attack on some incident in Pakistan by saying that there is, or has been some corresponding attack or incident in India. First, it is entirely your own business, on your own blog-site, to discuss your problems and difficulties in your own terms and rules of engagement. It concerns nobody else, nobody that wishes to turn the situation to some kind of schoolboyish point-scoring situation. Any silly remarks by trolls or those whom Gorki has so short-sightedly accepted as nationalists of a kind are best left to the moderators, however slow and unsure of themselves they are. In the short run, till our moderators take action, which they generally do in slow-motion, there are others, those Indians who don’t like trolls and guttersnipes who form semi-professional claques, for instance, to point out the silliness of their actions to these mentally-challenged yobs.

    It is a pity to see a genuinely thoughtful person such as you engaging with these dregs.

  31. @Hola

    What do you mean by that remark? I am ready to explain at length why you shouldn’t have done what you did; what are you trying to do?

    @Bade Miya

    What is ziba? It sounds brutal, from your reaction.

  32. Bade Miyan

    Zibah is the proper ritual of slaughtering animals. The idea behind is that it is supposed to be the most humane method of killing an animal, but it does not make a pleasant sight.

  33. Raju Brother

    @AA Khalid

    Gotta give it to you buddy, nobody can solve a problem as quickly as you! Copy & paste something from Indian media. Problem solved!

  34. Bin Ismail

    @ Gorki

    “…..ensure that the country and society remains static and dysfunctional; resistant to any change, because of their influence…..”

    Very true. The role of the Zia/ulema/taliban factor has been to prevent Pakistan from moving towards a tolerant mode. Also, by committing summary public trials and executions in the name of religion or tacitly endorsing them, these elements have set a precedent and example for others to follow – which in fact has been followed.

    @ Vajra

    “…..Leave them to solve their problems, refrain from comments which don’t add to the solution but just gratify your wish to score points, and fix our own problems…..”

    That was noble of you. Bless you.

  35. @Bin Ismail

    I am sorry, nothing noble about it: I can’t claim credit for this. This is part of an unwritten pact arrived at long ago, which gave both sides some protection from arguments leading to a ‘tu-tu main-main’ kind of situation. It worked pretty well, but we have Indian newcomers flooding in, and they don’t know about it, nor do they care about it (the Sagar Khans and other Pakistani newcomers are your problem, and he isn’t really a problem). Leading to a lot of high blood pressure among those of us who feel that our own side is letting us down.

    I just wish Majumdar’s excellent suggestions were to be taken up as official policy.

  36. Raju Brother

    Vajra wrote:

    It worked pretty well, but we have Indian newcomers flooding in, and they don’t know about it, nor do they care about it

    PTH: the new LAL Qila (Love Amongst Liberals Fortress)

    Vajra for Gatekeeper!!! 🙂

  37. Bade Miyan

    I must say that the newcomers though irritating at times, have added a bit of color to the arguments. Witness Raju Bhaiya’s acronym. 😀
    The other day, someone(Amit?) was talking about getting milk from a bull. That’s such a hinterland joke.

  38. NSA

    A very tentative suggestion related to flood relief: the news is full of stories that livestock is the livelihood of many million landless farmers who have had their livestock wiped out or severely reduced by the floods.

    The suggestion is that on Eid, instead of sacrificing an animal, the well-off purchase an animal and then get it to one of these farmers.

    The main problem will be of logistics – if the well-off person is in the city and the farmers are in the countryside. Since I have no idea of how to solve this, it remains a purely tentative suggestion.

  39. The article by the writer has two aspects, one the nature of crime and another the reaction of general public after watching the sad incident. He described both, but here the comments apart from the usual rant by some indian friends, have discussed the first aspect.
    It was an incident of mob violance, it can be differentiated from the other such incidents as the guys were accused of a crime i.e theft and punished by the mob in a very brutal way.
    The article brought the other aspect, the denial by the common public as well as the commentators as they have tried the same that muslim can not do it etc etc. Here he has provided some historical precedences that same act of brutality are committed by the most pious ones aka Taliban, as someone can see the comments from Salman, and the most organized institution in the country as Our Army in their operations at Gilgit.
    So he has shown us the mirror that we as a nation have reacted in the same way many times and any efforts of denials will not work instead it needs serious thinking that why we have reacted in this way so many times.

  40. libertarian

    @Bade Miyan: I have seen it being done on a large animal(goat) only once in my whole life, and I had passed out then.

    Sorry Bade Miyan – but that’s just funny. I’m picturing Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbes) passing out when his Dad shows him (his Dad’s own) disembodied hand as part of a bedtime story.

    I know there’s more important stuff being discussed but I’m suffering from acute bad-news fatigue – and a little dark levity helps (me).

  41. no-communal

    Like zibah, in the traditional form of worship of Goddess Kali, there is bali or animal sacrifice. In West Bengal (probably in Assam too, but not in north and south India), the sacrifice is that of a goat (and in some cases even water buffalo). I saw many of these sacrifices (beheadings) while growing up in the hinterlands of Bengal not too long ago. I could watch them without passing out. The practice has become rarer, but is not completely abolished yet.

    It’s a reflection of age-old traditional tribal practices codified later as religious practices.

  42. Tilsim

    @ AA Khalid

    “the higher judiciary, which in India is a self-appointing entity not answerable to the legislature or executive. ”

    Sounds like the same system that our honorable justices are trying to protect.

  43. Amit Kumar

    Poll of Pakistanis released last month by the respected Pew Centre.

    More than 80% supported segregating men and women in the workplace, stoning adulterers and whipping or amputation for thieves. Three in four endorse the death penalty for apostasy.

    More people see al-Qaida, the Taliban and homegrown groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba more favourably than the US, .

    If constitution is based on public opinion, not sure what difference it will from Taliban, expect that woman can work as long as they do not touch man.

  44. Bade Miya

    “ISLAMABAD: India and Israel are the only two countries whose aid workers will not be granted special visas by Pakistan to join relief efforts for the millions of people affected by country’s worst floods.


  45. Bade Miya

    No communal,
    I am aware of those practices and I am glad it’s becoming rare, though I think ziba is a little different from how Kali devotees sacrifice animals. I didn’t mean to imply any correlation. Personally, I was a little dazed after the whole thing, but I can see how one can get used to it without being brutal.

    Nice ref.

  46. Siddiqa

    Well said! Probably the best writing I have come across since the incident.

  47. Pingback: Talibanization of the heart - BlogOn.pk

  48. shiv

    Torn shirt versus open fly. Just because India is bad it does not mean Pakistan becomes good.

    Do the parents of the Sialkot boys have an email id? I would like to send them my condolences and explain to them that it happens in every district in India so its no big deal.

    Reminds me of the statisticians conference:
    Indian: “At 200 grams per person per day Pakistanis produce 34,000 tons of feces every day. Enough to fill a lake. Cheee.”
    Pakistani: “So what? Indians produce 220,000 tons – the Indian ocean”

    What sort of crap is that? The fact that India has problems has no bearing on internal problems in Pakistan. Australians are publicly lynching Indians. It’s how the crimes are handled and the social penalty for mishandling that can foster changes. Or achieve nothing.

  49. @Bin Ismail

    I am sorry, nothing noble about it: I can’t claim credit for this. This is part of an unwritten pact arrived at long ago, which gave both sides some protection from arguments leading to a ‘tu-tu main-main’ kind of situation. It worked pretty well, but we have Indian newcomers flooding in, and they don’t know about it, nor do they care about it (the Sagar Khans and other Pakistani newcomers are your problem, and he isn’t really a problem). Leading to a lot of high blood pressure among those of us who feel that our own side is letting us down.

    I just wish Majumdar’s excellent suggestions were to be taken up as official policy.


    I’ve expressly addressed ‘torn shirt vs. open fly’, (see my post at 11:44). Don’t be a bore, please.

  50. Mobin

    Nicely done, Mr Zaidi. Excellent writing.

  51. shiv


    I’ve expressly addressed ‘torn shirt vs. open fly’, (see my post at 11:44). Don’t be a bore, please.

    Gosh – do you actually think I read more than two lines of what you write? I urge you to rethink the identity of the ownership of the word “bore”.

  52. @shiv

    You have a patented right to it which none will question. And you are rapidly acquiring rights to being a nasty disaster pornographer after your recent outstandingly vile comments.

  53. Gorki

    Bade Miya
    August 26, 2010 at 3:39 am “ISLAMABAD: India and Israel are the only two countries whose aid workers will not be granted special visas by Pakistan to join relief efforts for the millions of people affected by country’s worst floods.

    Even as we speak, there is a concerted effort made by leading politicians in the US to demonize a decent US citizen and prevent him from exercising his right to build a place of worship on a certain street in New York. A few years ago the US administration buckled and backed out of a business deal with a UAE based company to run certain US ports although their offer made perfect business sense.
    In Israel, the politicians routinely buckle under popular right wing pressure and regularize illegal settlements built on occupied land.
    The point I am making is that sometimes governments even in nations with strong democratic and secular traditions often fail to live up to their own ideals and give in to popular sentiment on the streets.
    What makes you think that a weak and unpopular government in Pakistan could do otherwise even if it wanted to?
    Not only would the government be further attacked for appearing helpless before the Hindus and the Jews it would have to provide security for these relief workers; a challenging task for the government that could not protect its own PM candidate a few years ago!

    What would you do if you were the PM of Pakistan? What could anyone else do?

    It was generous of both India and Israel to offer help; good.
    Now, pointing out the obvious compulsions of the Pakistani government is akin to pointing out to a man without any shoes that he is bare footed.

    Empathy does not stop at offering help; it also means not highlighting the other’s handicaps.
    Indians come here and feel smart pointing out all that is wrong with Pakistan today. It is not such big deal to make such analysis and it is a cottage industry in the US.
    Today every one from a state college political science professor to a janitor in the Pakistani embassy in Washington DC thinks he is an analyst. No one seems to stop long enough from breathless predictions of doom and gloom to understand that most Pakistani liberals like those on the PTH know all that they have to say and much more.

    It is exactly to fix all those problems that they come here and write; mostly for the benefit of their own countrymen. Yet we continue to ignore their polite pleas to let them have a strictly Pakistani dialogue in peace and insist on imposing our analysis on them.
    That they even have the courage to look their problems in the eye and try to address them is admirable.
    There are already enough places in the world where demagogues are busy demonizing Muslims, Islam, Pakistan etc. Let us have some empathy and some class; and maintain respectful silence while the Pakistanis try to fix their country one problem at a time. Once they have a strong civil polity in place there will be plenty of time to point out what more they need to do…

    (BM please note that although this post started out with your name on the top most of it is not addressed to you personally).

  54. shiv

    Indians come here and feel smart pointing out all that is wrong with Pakistan today. It is not such big deal to make such analysis and it is a cottage industry in the US.

    This truism fails to point out a graver reality which even I in my deliberate nastiness feel “delicate” about pointing out among what seems to be a bunch of perfectly reasonable Pakistanis.

    There is no cure that I can see for Pakistan’s ills that will come without a great deal of difficulty

    Everyone has his (or her) views of what is right for Pakistan. Several possibilities (or several futures) can be thought up for Pakistan. I will start with paranoid Indian nightmares before moving on to other possibilities

    1) A Pakistan that gets so much military aid that it gets into a disastrous nuclear war with India to ultimately settle the issues of partition and Kashmir. A proud and and enlarged Pakistani nation will stand united with the spirit of 1965 with a grovelling India at her knees while the Dalits, Sikhs and Tamils will be given freedom under Jinnah’s vision and Choudhury Rehmat Ali’s DINIA will become reality as the Green flag with the Crescent moon flies on the ramparts of the Red Fort.

    2) Pakistan continues to lurch from crisis to crisis and eventually spilts up into a powerful rump state of Pakjabistan while Pashtunistan finds its own place under the sun and the next failed state.

    3) The Pakistan army sues for unconditional peace with India, postponing all contentious issues to some future date, freeing up the army’s obsession and funds until Pakistan the nation can achieve stability and prosperity

    4) Pakistanis suddenly unite and democracy suddenly appears. The army never gets out of its barracks save to help the civilian government impose law and order. Lands are redistributed and land reforms come in with a cap of not more than 10 acres in the hands of the most powerful landowners. Massive funds are infused into education, human development and industrialization and every sector gets a fair share of the resources with no entity swallowing up an undue amount. Criminals are arrested no matter how high up they are and a equitable secular constitution that is set in stone and not changeable by the army and mullahs is adopted. Trade is instituted with logical trading partners.

    5) A democratic Pakistan that votes in an Islamic government that alienates the US but puts Pakistanis under the iron control of sharia, and asserts Islamic pride.

    Which one of these futures will Pakistanis allow? Which will the feudal elite allow? Which future will the army desire? Which group in Pakistan is best placed to implement the future that they want to see?

  55. Bade Miya

    My post was not to appear as a smart ass and twist the knife. As you may well remember, a few posts ago, some people claimed that India(including the civil society) was blind to the sufferings in Pakistan. My post simply wanted to highlight something that would otherwise be overlooked by the patrons of The Guardian, etc. That’s all. Incidentally, the team of 400 doctors was from a civil organization headed by a Muslim(I feel an idiot in highlighting this but as the Bard once said, “thou shalt not escape calumny.”)
    I am not sure I agree with your assessment about the apparent risks to the Indian doctors. The doctors were scheduled to go to Sindh where this gesture was wholeheartedly welcomed. It’s a little hard to believe that a population harried by ravages of flood would have time to take out an AK-47 and shoot some doctors. In that case, Americans are more at risk.
    Your second point is even more important. In the prevailing climate of distrust, it would have made a huge difference if the doctors were allowed to go to Pakistan, at least the ones from India. That would have shown that the civilian govt. counts for something. If it can’t do something as trivial as issuing visas on humanitarian grounds, all this buildup about the peace process is rather meaningless. By the way, I don’t believe that the civilian government in Pakistan is that weak. Of course, we can differ. Back channel talks and trust building involves such baby steps.
    Since you put the disclaimer that your post was addressed to people in general, I am going to overlook the Islam part. I don’t remember ever denigrating Islam or the liberal class in Pakistan. If I may say so, some of us were aware of the liberal intelligentsia in Pakistan much before 26/11. That’s just because of where I come from; I don’t claim any personal credit in all this. The quality of liberal writing in Pakistan has been consistently better than the best we have to offer. I don’t know who is the current favorite, but Ibn-e-Insha used to be quite popular in our country too. No society that doesn’t have a vigorous liberal class can give rise to such outstanding writers . As such, I have never derided the liberal class in Pakistan.

    Btw, the whole ground zero controversy about building of the Mosque is just unnecessary. It would actually help Muslims more(and Obama, of course) if they publicly withdraw from building on the controversial site. It would be politically helpful to Obama as well. It’s not such a black and white issue. Right wingers cannot be blamed totally on this. Apparently, 60% of the population is against it(even in NY.) Most people whom I talked to say that they have no issue with building of the mosque if they build it a few blocks away(Does that ring a bell about a similar controversy?) Some have even said that building a mosque funded by Saudi dollars so close to the memorial would actually give a focus point to Islamophobes. I, personally, don’t buy that argument, but I can’t dismiss it outright. I personally believe that everyone/anyone has right to build their house of worship wherever they want. It’s just that in prevailing political climate, especially since the October elections are less than two months away, it would be a big relief to Obama who has been very genuine in his desire to build bridges, if the Muslims in NY took the high moral ground.

  56. @Bade Miya

    It sticks in my craw, but I must agree with Bade Miya on this point. It was reasonable to put the fact on the table that there is increasing awareness in India of the nature and appalling extent of the calamity in Pakistan. In line with that, I might point out the utterly devastated tone of Pranay Roy’s references on the main news last night. Perhaps a little late, but certainly not wanting in proper feeling.

    It is also difficult to see why anyone, anywhere, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sinhala, whatever, anything but a Zardari, should hold a brief for the Pakistani civil government. Everyone knows that it is under the constant threat and the minute-to-minute monitoring of the Institution. Nobody harbours any illusions about the reasons why some particularly stupid and offensive decisions have been taken, or stands adopted. Their refusing visas is nothing to be defended; it does not subtract from any sympathy for the greater cause of Pakistani democracy and civilian rule without strings attached to recognise that today’s halfway-house is merely that, a halfway-house, important only insofar as it prevents a degeneration into military dictatorship as long as it manages to survive.

  57. Yasir

    The article does not provide the evidence for the claim that it purports to make. The claim is that public lynching is caused by the perceived Islamofacist mentality in Pakistan institutionalized in the 1970s. The evidence is an incident quoted which relates to two boys being clubbed to death in Sialkot. The contextual background of this evidence relates to the two boys being rightfully / wrongfully charged of robbery.

    Any student of logic or for that matter a rational human can easily detect the flaw that there is no proper reasoning that connects the evidence to the claim as is required in a proper argument (non sequitur). In fact one could evenly attribute this claim to the loss of faith in state which coincidentally claims to be secular in nature and more importantly democratic with amusingly negligible proportion of Islamofacists in its ranks. Rather than focusing on the real causalities the article makes a failed attempt to link the validity of its claim to the belief of a nation without properly establishing the link between the belief and the action in the context of the evidence provided (ad hominem). Being Muslim and finding oneself in the situation (public lynching) does not mean that everyone is disposed to take that particular position which somehow in the article traces its roots from the belief.

    Interestingly, the article accepts that serious crimes have remained unpunished since 1977 and traces the causes of this claim to “(i) they will never get justice, and (ii) crime is not punished.” The author has failed to show that these two causations exist only in a society of perceived Islamofacism. Counterfactual to this argument are the public lynchings in United States which were carried out from the late 19th century right through to 1960s. The school of law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City has reported significant number of public lynchings by US state from 1882 – 1968 which in all respects do not situate themselves within the praxis of an Islamofacist regime in United States. Similarly, the public lynching of two alleged thieves, one of which was a pregnant woman, in Bolivia in April 2009 was traced to have been caused more by the Bolivian ruling party’s limited state capacity to administer justice rather than the beliefs of the lynch mob. The debate revolved around the legitimacy of community justice where the police have less presence and respect with no faith in the functioning of the judiciary. There is no evidence in Pakistan’s context that this could not have been one of the reasons for the purported action. When counterfactuals exist it becomes difficult to determine a definite cause unless all the other causes are eliminated from the argument by way of evidence and reasoning.

    Furthermore, the article tends to mislead the readers by claiming that from 1977 very few serious crimes have been meted out punishment. This either implies that serious crimes were punished before 1977 or maybe they did not exist to be punished! The article fails to mention that the very presence of a military dictator in the late 70s could have just been an ensuing consequence of a serious crime of accepting military dictatorship that actually was institutionalized in 1958 and later on gained traction in 1969 (both earlier than 1977) where in this article’s assumed timeline neither the Islamofacist regime existed nor the exclusionary curriculum was institutionalized. Could it be possible that the dysfunctional state, as mentioned in one of the comments, was already existing before the perceived Islamofacist regime?

    Focusing on appeal by emotion to the masses the article falls short of any substantive conclusions regarding the causalities of a particular situation. The underlying arguments seem to be myopic and confused by emotions and a negative disposition towards a perceived ideological impetus rather than strong rational and conclusive arguments. Further insights need to be drawn by the article to inform the theory enterprise of these purported actions to engage the audience reflectively rather than emotionally.

    The above review does not purport to be in any way an attempt to attack the claims of the article but rather sees the evidence and reasoning insufficient to support the claim.

  58. Gorki

    Even as I am writing this there is a news flash on the BBC: US warns TTP plans to attack aid workers in Pakistan. The news in also carried on the Dawn web site…….

  59. Zainab Ali

    The talibanization of our society, if not happening on a mass scale, is still prevalent in some areas. Of course when people start feeling as they are the judge and the jury then things go really wrong. The institution that is to be blamed is our Police and other law enforcement agencies, who in spite of their presence were nothing but silent spectators.

  60. ali hamdani

    Islam into politics and we are left with nothing in hand. Our mirror image is what we condemn to hold. Taliban must be destroyed as they wait anxiously to exploit International assistance.

  61. eraj danish

    USAID chief visited and pressed for more transparency as he detected assistance to a banned outfit of LeT. We must condemn such actions immediately because International assistance is what flood victims look up to at the current time.

  62. Bade Miya

    Good point but shouldn’t that judgment left be to individuals. I am sure that factor was taken into account when the doctors signed up to go there.
    A new column in NYT has some people articulate exactly the same arguments that I wrote in my post. The whole thing has become a tamasha.

    Vajra Saab,
    Thank you and my apologies for earlier discourtesy. I did cross the line.

  63. Ammar

    Improving the image of Pakistan is not just the responsibility of the state but also the citizens. We need to highlight our achievements in the war against extremism; we need to tell the stories of those brave girls who went to school despite of severe opposition by the Taliban.

  64. ramesh

    what is tatibanization?when teachings like the qisas,kuffar wajib al qitl,jiza and dhimi are present in the general mindset it is easy to tilt to the far side and not know the diffrence.the taliban is emulating the tenets to the letter,as any change or commutation is forbidden.

  65. Tilsim

    @ Bade Miya
    “August 26, 2010 at 3:39 am “ISLAMABAD: India and Israel are the only two countries whose aid workers will not be granted special visas by Pakistan to join relief efforts for the millions of people affected by country’s worst floods.

    Thanks for pointing this out. I was not aware of it. I would guess that our security folks are more worried about the potential damage that Indians spooks disguised as doctors may do rather than the more immediate priority of getting help to sick and dying people. Upside down thinking.

  66. Tilsim

    “The article does not provide the evidence for the claim that it purports to make. ”

    My sentiments too.

    I am quite interested to see that every politician of every shade of opinion from Jamaat to Musharraf is calling on the victims’ family. What do you make of that?

    One wonders (cynically) if this is a case of increasing one’s political capital based on the outrage and disgust felt by the public or some expression of common values and acknowledgement of the state’s failure or both?

  67. Yasir


    This is a very tricky question. One can try to be judgmental and simply castigate the efforts across the board under the pretence of political mileage. At the same time, it also becomes difficult to know what is in the hearts of the people. For example, the leaders of Jamaat may want to gain political points but the Jamaat workers at the lower level who are on field might be working just for the cause of helping out others. It is not appropriate at the moment to get into a theoretical discussion about how two conflicting intentions can easily set up a mutually inclusive political system but at the same time I also agree that historical precedents can be used to judge certain actions in which case Pakistan’s political parties apparently do not fit well with their show of sympathy and eagerness to help the flood victims.

    Opposition political parties tend to capitalize on the outburst or rage of the citizens against the ruling party. This is a global phenomenon as every party aims to fulfil its vested interests first and then think (or not think) about the others leaving no chance to belittle the opposition. As long as the citizens of the state remain victims of political ineptitude and manipulation it does not matter. Unless this attitude of passive victimization is not converted to active reformation it does not matter if the state is failed, fragile or rogue!

    – Aid from Israel and India?

    An interesting point raised in one of the comments relates to the discouragement of or refusal to accept assistance from India and Israel by the Pakistani government. If we carefully review the government’s stance it clearly shows a political motive rather than a religious constraint. We don’t need to go very far back to prove this as the Afghan War in the 1970s is an attestation to this. The Pakistani State along with the Religious Factions (who where then led by supposedly very renowned Muftis) accepted provision from United States.

    On page 82 of the book titled ‘The Bear Trap’ Brigadier Muhammad Yusuf and Mark Adkin have traced out an organization chart of the flow of monetary and arms assistance in Pakistan during the Afghan War. One of the primary funders was United States a Non Muslim country. The countries from which Arms Purchases were made included Communist China and Israel clearly reflecting that the political needs were priority over religious considerations. The authors write “The great bulk [of arms] came from China, Egypt, and later on from Israel. I had no idea that Israel was a source until quite recently, as, had it been known, there would have been considerable trouble with Arab nations. It would not have been acceptable to wage a Jehad with weapons bought from Israel.”

    The question is why did the Pakistani state conceal this from its own people or rather its own military personnel till the end? The authors answer this question in the next line stating that the weapons sold by Israel were those that it had captured during the invasion of Lebanon and hence were available at cheaper prices at which the Pakistani state was happy to buy (page 83). Suddenly the religious consideration was on the back burner since it did not support the Pakistani state’s political motive. But somehow religious constraint finds itself on the forefront when refusing to accept assistance from Israel in the wake of the ensuing floods. The political benefit remains constant while the religious constraint is applied according to the needs of the situation and to support the political motive! In essence it is very strange to hear the government rejecting the support received from Israel or India whilst at the same time ignoring its historical precedents of accepting the same.

  68. YLH


    I am assuming your post was addressed to Yasir not yasser.

  69. shiv

    The Pakistani army is the most powerful, disciplined and well organised group in Pakistan. It is also the best funded. It is well funded because the people of Pakistan do not grudge them those funds. The people of Pakistan do not grudge them those funds because they are constantly protecting Pakistan from its enemies, India and Israel who have a conspiracy to encircle and bring Pakistan down and make Muslims suffer.

    If Israel and India stop being a threat to Muslims, Pakistanis would ask why the army needs so much money and so many perks. It is necessary to have India and Israel as enemies. Not for Pakistan, but for the survival and good health of the Pakistani army.

    Nothing puzzling about why things are the way they are.

  70. Tilsim


    Sorry for confusion. Yes, Yasir it was.

  71. Tilsim

    @ Yasir

    “But somehow religious constraint finds itself on the forefront when refusing to accept assistance from Israel in the wake of the ensuing floods. ”

    I am not sure I understand how you are using the word religious constraint. Whether or not to accept aid from Israel or India is not a religious constraint for the establishment, it’s a domestic political one, no?

    This is an issue where Pakistan’s political leadership needs to show some courage (to face off the naysayers) and basic morality in helping flood victims.

    Has Israel offered aid? I was n’t aware of that. I know that the Board of Deputies of British Jews and other Jewish organisations have launched appeals to help the flood victims. See websites.

    At a time of catastrophe like this, Pakistan should set political considerations aside. Pakistanis should see that considerations for innocents trump all political considerations. It might even help to heal the suspicion and hostility in the public’s mind.

  72. Yasir

    I think i read it on

    The issue with India is surely domestic political one but for Israel it is more of ideological and faith-based as Jews are considered as the bitter enemies of Muslims. Israel’s attitude towards Palestinians further accentuates the bad image of Jews. Hence there seems to be hesitancy in accepting aid from Jews / Israel.

    My reference to religious constraint meant that if ideological and religious differences are causing hesitancy on part of Pakistan to accept aid from Israel, why didn’t they cause the same when purchasing arms from Israel during Afghan War. How was legitimacy sought then? It was sought by sidelining religious bias towards Israel and grabbing on the best opportunity to Pakistan’s benefit. What’s stopping them now?

    Religion just seems to be a tool for political manoeuvring and serving vested interests.

  73. Sadia Hussain

    Napoleon once said “The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people!” Taliban have gained strength due to our muted response it is high time that we speak out and stand united.

  74. Bin Ismail

    Sadia Hussain
    August 27, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    “…..“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, But because of the silence of good people!”…..”

    …and when the silence of good people does not break, they become the bad people.

  75. asterisk

    to bin ismail
    God people have been let own by god repeatedly. So don’t blame them

  76. asterisk

    to bin ismail
    Good people have been let own by god repeatedly. So don’t blame them

  77. Tilsim

    @ Yasir

    Thank you for sharing the link with me. You are very right. This sort of attitude (against accepting Israeli aid) by Pakistanis and the Pakistan establishment to me is really plumbing new depths. As you say, there is this school that likes to see the Jewish-Muslim relationship in a one dimensional way which is linked to the cruelty towards Palestinians as well as some selective interpretation of Hadees. I don’t see what the poor Pakistani has done to deserve such cruelty. If Israel or Jews are offering assistance to Pakistan, they are saying that we are putting possible differences aside for the sake of our common humanity. It is us Pakistanis who are the beasts by refusing help. As you rightly point out, if Israel might be offering weapons, we would have no problem buying them. What has the poor, desperate, displaced and sick child have to do with the Gaza flotilla or the Gaza strip or Prophet Mohammed’s (pbuh) difficulties with certain Jewish tribes in Medina 1400 years ago. As a Muslim, I am ashamed and disgusted at the nation’s inhumanity.

  78. Bin Ismail

    @ asterisk (August 27, 2010 at 6:48 pm)

    “…..Good people have been let own by god repeatedly. So don’t blame them…..”

    Goodness is something that has to be held on to with perseverance. Showing courage in denouncing atrocity, is a goodness that requires courage. People who lack this courage, cease to be good and fall from grace. Such people are let down by themselves, not God.

  79. Pingback: Life in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

  80. Pingback: Triple blasts in Lahore, 29 killed - Pakistan Talk Forums

  81. What I wanted to ask this: what happened to Mr. Bhatti .. the proponent of The Jhang Model?
    I read here that he resigned.

    So much for innovation, creativity, integrity and role-modelling, honest-to-goodnessparadigm shifting attempts in modernday (turning out to be functional) Pack-A-satan.

    And I drink Onionjuice (Hare! Hare!!) for the Freedom of Expression/ Media (including toe-the-dictated line YELLOW Jello+lawfawfaw journalism) in my .(wholesomely-plundered and thoroughly-plundered) Motherland.

  82. just One TYPO in the above which you can hang as a past-daVinci and post-Duchamp, (albeit Kafkaesque) Work of Art in your Home.
    Because I say so:

  83. Apropos Abbas Zaidi, writing about ‘Pakistan having been morphed into impotence and there being no accountability or rule of law in Pakistan’ .. I agree. The present state (oops!) of Pakistan our glitterati (semi-illiterati) find as dearly sexy.

    I did not know that laterday Gunrail Mush-A-Rough was dispatched to Gilgit by Presi-DENT(!) Ziyya to Gilgit to wantonly (+ vigorously!) kill human-beings (mere fodder for our bigwigs) and their household sheep and goats.

    I guess I must revive my 1988 Writ at the Lahore High Court (Rawalpindi) that his deadDENTURE should be removed from the premises of the National Mosque (in Islamabad) and burried more appropriately in L(o)yallpur Mohallah Qassayaan Graveyard.